Saturday, August 7, 2021

Dragon Warrior III (GBC) - Part 5: The Next World


Today on Dragon Warrior III...the finale! Or is it?

Sage drags a line of coffins somberly into town. So far the level-grinding has been pretty rough.

Baramos' Castle is big and menacing, and truly looks like a demon lord's fortress.

This one has a wee bit of Russian motif as well, though. Either way, the front gate is the wrong way here, you need to look for a side-door. Zoma's Castle does the same thing for some reason.

This tree actually blocks you from walking straight to the boss of the fortress, since the stairway to him is right beyond this.

Here's the side-door, which is used for deliveries and for Baramos' lovers to slip out.

On the throne is a skeleton. Who was this? I'm sure there's some story here.

Walk down from there and you end up on the other side of the tree from earlier, which leads to the final stairs. You can tell these stairs are bad news because they're surrounded by damage-floors.

Here's Baramos, and he's ready for action. This is the first BIG challenge of the game. If you're underleveled or undergeared, this is where you're going to run into a wall.

Dude, wtf

"I will rip off your foot and kick you with it!"

Why? ...Why?

"I will make your parents watch as I milk your women!"

The hell, I don't remember any of this being in the NES version.

The meta stands (much like Baramos' head-penis after the arrival of our heroes). You use TwinHits to power up the fighters, Sap his defense, then focus on striking with the meleers while the casters heal.

He dishes out a Super Yoga Fire and can also spam Explodet. Two turns per round. He does not, however, have a dispel, like other final boss types in the series often do. So it's safe to buff as much as possible.

It was a rough fight and I lost the Hero early, but I eked out a win.

With that, Baramos' head-penis is wilted and sad, and the Demon Lord is no more.

The world is saved, and everyone is ready to greet you back in Aliahan.

This really does feel like the end of the game. Somewhere, someone turned it off at this point, thinking they had finished the game and wanting to beat the credits.

Wait, we never found Ortega, did we?

That's moot now, because lightning bolts strike all the guards, heralding the arrival of...

My God. The REAL villain has arrived. Baramos' secret boss, and possibly creator.

This might have been a big surprise to some players back in the day. I read about this in Nintendo Power years before I ever played any version of the game, so I knew Baramos was just a pawn well in advance.

After Zoma announces his intention of taking over the world and then sods off, the King falls into a deep depression. Though we're in the same boat we were before, with a Demon Lord threatening the land. I guess this one is much scarier than the previous one since he had the power to teleport right into the castle.

Drop into the Great Pit of Gaia (next to Baramos' Castle) to reach...

...the underworld, which is of course Alefgard from the first two games. Basically, this world is layered like the planes of Hell in AD&D. They're different world-layers that basically sit atop one another and can be crossed-between. Earth is in the center, with Alefgard on the layer below it and the Zenithian realm on the layer above it. I believe the next 3 games take place on the upper realm (or something in-between) but don't quote me on that, I'll see when I revisit them.

This must have been mind-blowing for people who played this when it first launched on the NES. Anyone who grew up with the series, especially. You get to revisit the first game's world inside of the third game, and unlike the second game, Alefgard isn't all that scaled-down this time.

It's a bit like revisiting Tourian from Metroid near the beginning of Super Metroid. You see the Mother Brain's old hallway in ruins and so forth. I never played Metroid as a kid but I imagine for people who did, that part was something.

Across the water from Tantegel is Zoma Castle, the future location of the Dragon Lord's domain.

Even Red Slimes make an appearance. These guys have been pretty MIA since the first game.

"Fear Me!" says the Archmage.

There's a short dungeon northwest of Tantegel. Unlike the original game, it has a really good treasure now:

The Hero Shield, AKA the best shield in the game and one of the 3 pieces of "Loto equipment" that would later become the Erdrick gear. There's no Loto helmet to find. There IS a hero-only super-helmet available for purchase in shops here, the Grand Helm, which is probably the Erdrick armor equivalent for that slot. 

You need a new world map to see where you're going in Alefgard, and that's found from this one hidden priest in Tantegel Castle. This is super easy to miss and it's such a crucial item.

Also in the castle: One of the Rainbow Drop items. At this point the game just becomes an item hunt, much like the original Dragon Quest. Just find the items, level up, then go take on the final castle.

Goopis can potentially replace Metal Babbles as the big exp farm of the game at this point...sort of. You can defeat them and their summoned minions over and over again to rack up massive exp totals, well beyond anything before this point. However, it's a tedious process and involves managing your Goopi Totals to keep too many stronger summoned minions from showing up.

TBH I found just regular grinding in Zoma's Castle to work out better than these fights, once I got there.

Garin is, of course, the namesake of the eventual town of Garinham (which doesn't exist yet here).

Here's the Tight Bikini, which I turned down. It's a significant downgrade for everyone, plus no one in this group waxes. Also I can't afford it. Plus the only one who would actually want to wear it is Sage. Also if Monk loses any more defense, she will physically die when hit by heals.

Another crucial item as Item Hunt 2021 rolls on. You can (and should) go straight to Kol after this and get the King's Sword forged. That's the best sword in the game. I took a while to get around to it on this run, though.

More Goopi Mayhem. This is essentially the setup for hella grinding. You can take out the statues over and over for huge exp, just don't let more than one spawn. Taking out one or two Goopis every round is fine as well, provided they're spaced-out. Statues only spawn if there's a space big enough for them to appear.

Here's Garin. Just chillin', bein' Garin. However, his cabinet contains...


Next stop: Swamp shrine. In the original Dragon Quest, this is a barren swamp where you have to search to find a key item. Presumably this shrine sank into the swamp over the years, like Atrayu's horse.

Unbelievable. She thinks I need to be bribed with sake to save the world?

The map has a border around it that prevents leaving the original game world. This is because Zoma "sealed off" the rest of the world. I doubt they wanted to remake Dragon Quest II's world for this. Nobody would have been clamoring for that and it was unnecessary. The nostalgia factor here is purely for the first game.

Here's a particularly obscure key item, found by searching a seemingly random spot. To this port's credit, it notifies you when you walk over something inspectable, so finding hidden things like this is much easier than on the NES.

There's also a well nearby. Inside is...

...huh. Who's that? Well, we'll check back later.

Next stop is Rubiss' Tower. This is the sole major dungeon in Alefgard besides Zoma's Castle, unless you count the several quick cave dungeons.

This contains the debut of the floor tile puzzle, something you need to be familiar with before the final castle.

Best armor, aka Erdrick's Armor. This and a portion of the Rainbow Drop (Rubiss' Charm) are the two key things to get in the tower. This dungeon is kinda like the predecessor to Zoma's Castle. If this place gives you any grief, you're not ready for that place yet. In this case it's all good, the party doesn't have any issues (aside from Monk's flimsy defense).

Other Dragon Quest Posts

1 comment:

  1. Hero's come back! Three two one make some noise!

    It was pretty mind blowing at the time, though I believe the manual/maps also spoiled it. Also at this point in some way it would have been more surprising if Alefgard WASN'T in the game, though this was a much fuller version of the land then in Dragon Quest II.

    Goopi, not to be confused with their cousin the graboopi.

    Wow, I completely blanked on the significance of the location of the swamp shrine.

    Can't say I love those tiles. I mean I deal with them, but I don't love 'em.